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By mountain, meadow, streamlet, grove, or cell,
And health, and peace, and contemplation dwell.
And friendship pledge me to his fellow swains;
The slender cord that fluttering life sustains;
And taste, unspoild, the frugal table spread;
And sleep, imbib'd, his dews refreshing shed;
Propitious power! my patron and my pride.
'Tis sweet in solitude to hear
The thrush's stammering throat.
The violet from its tomb,
The sorrel's simple bloom.
Fresh-opening bells I see;
Hope buds on every tree. Pope, in one of his earliest productions in tuneful numbers, praises the charms of a still, retired, country life. As far as real happiness is concerned, the following ode seems to comprehend every thing necessary for man on this side the tomb ;
Ode to SOLITUDE.
A few paternal acres bound;
In his own ground
Whose herds with milk, whose field with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire,
In winter, fire.
Hours, days, and years, slide soft away,
Quiet by day.
Together mix'd; sweet recreation
Thus unlamented let me die;
The following piece is an attempt to imitate the preceding ode of Pope. It is entitled
The peasant's blest, who in his cot,
In peace can eat.
But asks no more !
He sleeps at ease
With spirits gay.
He thankful eats.
Nor guilt nor fear his joys dismay,
He works and sings.
from chimneys come,
Goes whistling home.
Then goes to rest
And dies in peace.
With heart sincere.
Record my name.
Here, undisturb’d by cares of state,
Within retirement's pleasing bow'r,
I spend life's hour.
Like distant thunder strikes my ear,
With restless fear.
Where fortune's tempests seldom low'r,
For one short hour?
Like yonder stream across the plain,
Glides tow'rds the main.
I'll walk contented through the gloom,
Upon my tomb !
THE PLEASURES OF COUNTRY AND RETIREMENT
He, who remov'd afar from noise and strife,
not alone, for in thy deepest shades,
BRETTELL St. Pierre, in his Studies of Nature, has the following abservations respecting the blessings and advantages in agriculture :
“The corn-plant has relations innumerable with the wants of man, and of his domestic animals. It is neither too high nor too low for his stature. It is easily handled and reaped. It furnishes grain to his poultry, bran to his pigs, forage and litter to his black cattle and horses. Every plant that grows in his corn-field possesses virtues particularly adapted to the maladies incident to the condition of the labouring maņ, The poppy is a cure for the pleurisy; it procures sleep, it stops hemorrhages and spitting of blood. The blue-bottle is a diuretic; it is vulnerary, cordial, and cooling ; it is an
antidote to the stings of venomous insects, and a remedy for inflammation of the eyes. Thus the husbandman finds all needful pharmacy in the field which he cultivates.
“The culture of this staff of life discloses to him many other agreeable concerts with his fleeting existence. The direction of its shadow informs him of the hour of the day; from its progressive growth' he learns the rapid flight of the seasons ; he reckons the Aux of his own fugitive years by the successions of the guiltless harvests which he has reaped. He is haunted with no apprehension, like the inhabitants of great cities, of conjugal infidelity, or of a too numerous posterity. His labours are always surpassed by the benefits of nature. When the sun gets to the sign of Virgo, he summons his kindred, he invites his neighbours, and marches at their head, by the dawning of the day, with sickle in hand, to the ripening field. His heart exults with joy as he binds up the swelling sheaves, while his children dance around them, crowned with garlands of blue-bottles and wild poppies. Their harmless play recals to his memory the amusements of his own early days and of his own virtuous ancestors, whom he hopes at length to rejoin in a happier world. The sight of his copious harvest demonstrates to him that there is a God; and every return of that joyous season, bringing to his recollection the delicious eras of his past existence, inspires bim with gratitude to the great Being, who has united the transient society of men by an eternal chain of blessings.
“Ye flowery meadows, ye majestic murmuring forests, ye mossy fountains, ye desert rocks, frequented by the dove alone, ye enchanting solitudes, which charm by your ineffable concerts; happy is the man who shall be permitted to unveil your hidden beauties! but still happier far is he, who shall have it in his power calmly to enjoy them, in the inheritance ɔf his forefathers !"
The reader must be treated with a few more poetical quotations; for the poets are rich on this subject. Thus Broome,
Hail! ye soft seats, ye limpid springs and floods,
And steal myself from life by slow decays !
Chaunt on, ye warblers, from each verdant spray,